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Cataracts: Third Leading Cause of Blindness in the United States

By Jonathan M. Frantz, MD, FACS –

Studies suggest that everyone who lives long enough will get cataracts, although there may be some reduced risk for individuals who eat properly, avoid sun exposure and do not smoke.

A cataract is not a disease but an aging process similar to graying hair. As the eye ages, the normal lens inside the eye becomes cloudy. The lens focuses light rays on the retina at the back of the eye to produce a sharp image of what we see. When the lens becomes cloudy, the light rays cannot pass easily through it, and the image becomes blurry. It can be compared to a window that is frosted or “fogged” with steam.

What causes a cataract? Cataracts usually develop as part of the aging process. Other causes include:
•    Family history
•    Medical problems, such as diabetes
•    Injury to the eye
•    Medications, such as steroids
•    Long-term, unprotected exposure to sunlight
•    Previous eye surgery

The amount and pattern of cloudiness within the lens can vary. If the cloudiness is not near the center of the lens, you may not be aware that a cataract is present. However, many people experience common symptoms, which include:
•    A painless blurring of vision
•    Glare or light sensitivity
•    Frequent eyeglass prescription changes
•    Double vision in one eye
•    Needing brighter light to read
•    Fading or yellowing of colors

In May 2012, Dr. Frantz introduced Bladeless Laser Cataract Surgery to southwest Florida, the biggest advancement in 20 years.  He continues to lead the way with ORA with VerifEye, which provides an in-depth analysis of the patient’s eye during surgery. The combination of the most advanced technology, a wide choice of intraocular lenses, and Dr. Frantz’s vast surgical experience offers area residents the opportunity to experience unparalleled cataract surgery.

A thorough eye examination can detect the presence and extent of a cataract, as well as other conditions that may be causing blurred vision or discomfort.

Jonathan M. Frantz, MD, FACS, is named in The Guide to America’s Top Ophthalmologists. He and his team of doctors at Frantz EyeCare offer a broad spectrum of patient-focused comprehensive care from eye exams and eyewear to bladeless laser cataract removal, treatment of eye diseases, bladeless iLASIK laser vision correction, and eyelid surgery with office locations in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Punta Gorda, Lehigh Acres, and Naples.

To make an appointment for your cataract evaluation online, visit or call the Fort Myers office of Frantz EyeCare at 239-418-0999.

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